2014 NFL Draft: Patriots Mock Draft Version 3.0

Will the Patriots replace one big Running Back with another big back from LSU?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

We are now less than 40 days until the 2014 NFL Draft. The official draft order is set, the compensation picks are known, and we’ve gained a lot more clarity now that free agency is winding down. Although more moves will be made before the Patriots go on the clock May 8th, we now have a better understanding of areas they will and won’t target.

The draft board is still very fluid and a lot can still change, but I take my best shot at projecting what the Patriots 2014 NFL Draft will look like.

Current Team Needs:

Defensive Tackle: Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly are back in the fold for 2014. Neither player is in the long term plans and the options behind these two leave a lot to be desired. A high-ceiling, disruptive interior presence is still needed.

Linebacker: Patriots lost Brandon Spikes and Dane Fletcher. After their top three starters the depth is non-exsistent. At least one sub-package coverage LB is needed and depth can be added at all three spots.

Pass Rush: Whether it a 4-3 Defensive End, 3-4 Outside Linebacker, or 4-3 OLB the Patriots need more pass rushers. Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich can’t play 1100+ snaps next season. Depth and impact is needed at this position.

Tight End: The Patriots have yet to address the position yet via free agency. I heard they took a close look at a few free agents, but didn’t see anything they felt comfortable with. It’s likely they select at least one TE in the draft, as they need a second receiving threat and insurance for Rob Gronkowski.

Running Back: LeGarrette Blount signed with the Steelers and both Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley are in contract years. Patriots liked their deep RB rotation and lack a second pass catcher. The draft is stack in the middle rounds with NFL caliber RB. Look for them to pounce.

Interior OL: Ryan Wendell just re-signed, but the Patriots protected themselves greatly with the bonus structure of the deal. Dan Connolly is no lock to be around when the season starts and both can still be upgraded.

Wide Receiver: Even though they retained Julian Edelman and signed Brandon LaFell, don’t discount a receiver. This draft is simply too deep and too talented at Wide Receiver to not be tempted at some point.

Quarterback: Ryan Mallett is in a contract year and it’s unclear if he has a long term future with the team.

Patriots Mock Draft

1st Round (29) - ** TRADE**

The Patriots love to move around the draft board to acquire additional picks and still draft their player. This draft is notoriously deep with impact talent, so the chances of the Patriots trading back are pretty good. Teams looking to move up to draft their Quarterback or a skilled position player will have their eyes on this pick. For the sake of this mock let’s say the Patriots drop down into the middle of the 2nd round and pick up an extra 3rd and 6th in the process.

2nd Round - Dominique Easley, DT, Florida (6’2″/288)
Even thought Vince Wilfork re-signed and Tommy Kelly restructured his contract, defensive tackle remains a position of need. There still isn’t a long term impact presence on the roster and there certainly isn’t a player like Easley. When healthy, Easley is one of the most disruptive interior defenders in the draft. He can line up just about anywhere on the defensive line and is extremely explosive off the ball. His best asset is his ability to penetrate and beat blocks with explosive hands. Easley’s best football is clearly ahead of him. Chalk this pick up as typical Patriots. Easley’s stock would be much higher if not for a second ACL tear suffered in the Fall. In this scenario, the Patriots trade out of the first round, acquire extra draft picks, and still select a player they want.

2nd Round (62) - Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame (6’6″/270)
Everyone in their right mind expects the Patriots to select a Tight End at some point in the draft. The Free Agent market is dried up, so the only way we see the “two tight end” offense next season is if the Patriots come away with an impact Tight End early. After thoroughly researching and debating which TE “fits” in New England, I believe it’s Niklas. His combination of size, mobility, and potential to block is exactly what the Patriots need. There is not another Aaron Hernandez in the draft, but there are Tight Ends that can compliment and provide insurance for Rob Gronkowski. Troy Niklas is the best of the bunch.

3rd Round - Jeremy Hill, RB LSU (6’1″/233)

The Patriots lose one big back in LeGarrette Blount and immediately replace him with another on in Jeremy Hill. Hill’s combination of size and speed, along with his better than advertised ability to catch the ball is exactly what this team needs right now. If we look at the Running Back position from top to bottom, there is tremendous uncertainty. Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are both entering the last year of their deals and both have had their issues at times (Fumbles, Injuries). After that that only other back on the roster is Brandon Bolden, who is a dime a dozen player. Hill would immediately enter the running back rotation and provide the offense with some of the same qualities Blount did. He’s an NFL ready runner, from a pro-style run scheme at LSU. While Hill could go in the late second round, some maturity and character questions will drop him into the third.

3rd Round (93) - Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville (6’3″/251)

Deciphering which pass rusher the Patriots will select this year is toughest part of this process in my opinion. The edge rush position isn’t as deep compared to other positions this year. If they elect to bypass the guys available to them in the last first round there is a drop off in talent in the 2nd-3rd Rounds, so I don’t think we see them select a traditional 4-3 Defensive End. Instead, I expect them to select another hybrid player that can not only rush the passer, but can drop into coverage and offer more versatility in the front seven.

Marcus Smith is an interesting prospect that is just scratching the surface. A former High School Quarterback that bounced back and forth between End and Outside Linebacker. What makes Smith attractive is his fluidity and his potential in coverage. Not only can this kid rush the passer from multiple alignments, he can drop into coverage and run with Tight Ends. His profile is similar to that of Jamie Collins in that regard. Smith can provide depth and impact at multiple positions and that’s why I believe he will be on the Patriots radar.

4th Round (130) - Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers (6’6″/225)
This year’s draft is too deep and talented at Wide Receiver for the Patriots to completely bypass the position. I’m under the impression, that just because the re-signed Julian Edelman and signed Brandon LaFell, that does not mean they are done at receiver. Coleman is the type of player they don’t have on the roster. There are big receivers and then there is Coleman. Standing a legit 6’6″ tall, he’d provide the Patriots with a legitimate big man that can make an impact in the red zone and stretch the defense. Coleman had to suffer through poor Quarterback play and four offensive coordinators in four years at Rutgers. He has more potential than he was allowed to show in college. As we know, the Rutgers connection can never be overlooked.

4th Round  (140) (Compensatory) - Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa (6’2″/233)

Kirksey has become a popular pick in Patriots mock drafts and it’s easy to understand why. Kirksey is a speedy linebacker that not only has the potential to develop into a three down linebacker, but has the skill-set to be an impact special teams player immediately in the NFL. Kirksey can provide depth at all three LB positions. He’s got great speed and the athleticism to match up in coverage with receivers, tight ends, and running backs. His intangibles are through the roof and like some of the other players in this mock, his best football is ahead of him. By adding Marcus Smith and Kirksey, the Patriots immediately become more deeper, more versatile, and much more athletic at the Linebacker position.

6th Round - Jemea Thomas, DB, Georgia Tech (5’9″/192)

Undersized, but versatile and productive defensive back. Thomas has played every position in the secondary and has been successful no matter where he plays. Thomas profiles as a depth and developmental prospect, but one that can add value on Special Teams immdiately. A lot has been made about that Patriots needing a big, physical Strong Safety, but that’s something they aren’t currently looking for.

6th Round (198) (via Philly) - Taylor Hart, DE/DT, Oregon (6’6″/281)

I still believe the Patriots lack that hybrid Defensive Lineman that can play 4-3 DE, 3-4 DT, and even 3-Technique in certain situations. They haven’t had a player like Taylor Hart in a few years now and it’s been missing in my opinion. Hart is a hard-nosed kid with great length. He holds the line, can occupy blockers, but also provide some pass rush when necessary. He’s a high character kid that broke his foot training for the Senior Bowl and can’t work out before the draft.

6th Round (206) - Zach Fulton, OG, Tennessee (6’4″/315)

Four year starter in the SEC, Fulton has been battle tested and actually very consistent. The depth on the Patriots interior Offensive Line is still lacking, but this is a position I could see the Patriots bypassing completely and just cherry picking the UDFA’s they like best. Nevertheless, Fulton is the reliable, coachable Lineman the Patriots tend to target. Nothing flashy about his game, he’s just performed at a high level, vs. top competition, for a long time.

7th Round (244) - Donald Hawkins, OT, Texas (6’5″/310)

Expect the Patriots to add a few depth Offensive Lineman late in the draft. Hawkins is a player that wasn’t invited to the combine, but NFL teams are very high on him. Played Left Tackle for two seasons at Texas and shows raw potential to warrant a late round pick. Marcus Cannon is in the last year of his contract and his role on the team is still in flux. After Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer, they lack a true Offensive Tackle, especially one they can develop. Keep an eye on Hopkins late in the draft.

Tags: Dominique Easley, Jeremy Hill, Troy Niklas

100 Responses to “2014 NFL Draft: Patriots Mock Draft Version 3.0”

  1. Justin says:

    This mock draft would be excellent. Since the Pats didn’t lose any of their starters along of the o-line they don’t NEED to spend too high of a pick on the position. In this mock draft they bolster their front seven to complement their improved secondary, making the defense one of the very best in the league on paper heading into the season.

    2nd Rd- Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon St.
    2nd Rd (62)- Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
    3rd Rd- Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio St.
    3rd Rd (93)- C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
    4th Rd (132)- Christian Jones, LB, Florida St.
    4th Rd (140)- Daniel McCullers, NT, Tennessee
    6th Rd- Morgan Breslin, DE, USC
    6th Rd (198)- Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky
    6th Rd (206)- Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame
    7th Rd (244)- Gator Hoskins, TE/H-Back, Marshall

    Some potential undrafted free agents to consider:
    Dan Fox, LB, Notre Dame
    Vinnie Sunseri, SS, Alabama
    Jeremy Gallon, WR, Michigan
    Jordan Lynch, QB, N. Illinois (transition to WR/HB/DB)
    Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech (possible transition to TE)
    Jacob Pedersen, TE, Wisconsin
    Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA
    Zach Fulton, OG, Tennessee

    • RMillette says:

      I see 4 full time d lineman as too many and would rather see Lynch at the 6th round than Breslin. Otherwise, you have some solid names but I’m looking for the pats to take players that have more versatility than those you list.

    • Matty says:

      Everyone’s trading out of the first round, in a year we’re clearly going for the title. If an elite player falls, we need to take him. Ebron, Evans, Mosley, Donald, Clinton-dix, Dee Ford- we’d have to take any of them.

      We should get at least a few guys that can contribute right away, including a DE, TE, LB, and S.
      Trading down only makes sense if you get a steal like last year’s deal with the vikes, AND the great ones are gone. Could happen if quarterbacks fall to the end of the 1st.

      • RMillette says:

        Everyone trades down because the assumption is that none of those players would be available, though I would easily pass on both Ford and Evans. I think the players we would get at the 2nd 3rd and 6th picks would provide much great overall talent. I would take Tuiit, Bucannon and Patchan over Ford.

  2. Matty says:

    Round 1: Ford, nix, dix, shazier, Mosley, jernigan, hageman
    2: niklas, amaro, van noy, chrichton, Jenkins
    3: Bailey, loston, daquan Jones, Landry, bucannon, mettenberger, baptiste

  3. big w says:

    pick 29 trade for 39,105,144.
    Pick 39 Markus Smith Olb
    pick 62 Markus Martin C
    pick 93 Buchanon SS
    pick 105 Christian Jones lb
    pick 130 Colt Lyera TE
    pick 140 Aaron Lynch DE
    pick 144 Storm Johnson rb
    pick 198 Tom johnson QB
    pick 206 Laurent Duvernay OT/OG
    pick240 Kevin Norwood WR
    My take on rejuvinating defensive speed and coverage.

  4. RMillette says:

    Taking my next mock to be more defensive centric in the early rounds as I feel that the level of talent for offensive positions just isn’t there for what the Patriots need. I do not believe they will pick another WR as I think LaFell, and a healthy Mark Harrison are the pieces they want to bring in. WR wasn’t really the issue last year anyway, it was TE.

    On defense, improvements at the CB position will allow McCourty even more freedom to dominate in the secondary and to me, the biggest needs are at pass rush along both the defensive line and linebacking corps along with the need for linebackers who can cover. I feel Harman will be given the chance to start after a good finish last year and that Logan Ryan will make the move to SS to back him up and that an SS will not be picked though both Southward and Sunseri could get priority free agent status if they aren’t picked in the draft. Without further adou

    I once again trade back for a 2nd 3rd and 6th with the first round pick. There is some talent falling that I would love to take here but I need to see it get close first. I have read in places that Anthony Barr is falling and if he is anywhere near this pick I’d trade up to get him.

    Round 2, Kelcy Quarles. D lineman are gaining in popularity lately and my former pick Tuitt could go in the first round. I don’t want to spend a first rounder to get him. Quarles has both the quickness and the strength to get into the backfield and was a regular presence there in college. He needs to learn to use his size and hands to get in the way of the ball better but who better to teach him than Vince Wilfork. Quarles will give that big interior push that we need to add pressure to the QB.

    Round 2 Trent Murphy Murphy is a hybrid DE OLB who can instantly slot into the DE rotation after an excellent season at Stanford. Murphy can rush the passer from the outside and has the ability to turn and run with TE’s or running backs. This helps to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and will make Murphy as key part of New England defenses.

    Round 3 Andre Williams Williams is the replacement for Blount. He’s a power back who I think will out play Ridley. Certainly not going to impress anyone as a pass catching threat, but thats not what New England will be looking for out of him.

    Round 3 Yawin Smallwood Smallwood is an unusual MLB and doesn’t have the size most look for, but his skill set has allowed him to be effective in stopping the run and protecting against the pass and he has even flashed the ability to rush the QB from this spot. After losing both Spikes and Fletcher I think Smallwood is a great replacement in the middle.

    Round 4 Christian Kirksey. My third and final LB selection, Kirksey makes a triple dip in an effort to boost the pass protection out of the LB corps. With only 6 LB’s on the roster and I’d really like to replace Davis and White as I wasn’t impressed with either of them last year and with Murphy also spending time at DE I feel one more pick is needed at this position. Kirksey is an ideal coverage linebacker for the patriots and could be highly utilized in unusual sets. I think this draft makes the Patriots LB corps one of the best going forward.

    Round 4 Bryan Stork The Remmington trophy winner is projected to still available at this pick despite anchoring the Florida State line. Stork has played at both OG and C and has spent practice time at OT as well. I think the positional versatility will play well and that Stork could beat out Wendell for the C position while giving depth for other spots.

    While my picks thus far have been kinda expected, I anticipate the win now needs of the Patriots will lead to some home run swings in later rounds. For example.

    Round 6 Aaron Lynch Lynch would have been a first round pick if he had kept up his play at Notre Dame. His size and speed make him a natural end and when the motor is on he can be unstoppable, the motor seems to be the problem. He showed hardly any of this talent and skill at South Florida. However, the need for a DE who can play and the Pats ability to make something of players like this wil llead them to draft him and I’m hoping for big things.

    Round 6 Colt Lyerla Notice no TE earlier in the draft?? This is why, Lyerla needs no introduction to those who have been following the drafts and once again, the Patriots take the risk with a player. Lyerla would be ideal next to Gronk and would work very well in New England’s offense.

    Time to tame things down a bit

    Round 6 Matt Patchan depth time, Patchan was a a Florida Gator before being granted a 6th season where he played at BC. Patchan held the line for Andre Williams and was stellar and more importantly, healthy this past year. No gunshot wounds or scooter accidents. Patchan has the size to play OG and lots of experience at OT. Probably better skilled to play RT as opposed to LT but has played LT at the college level.

    Round 7 Trey Millard The FB out of Oklahoma does a lot more than just play FB. Millard played TE and LB in high school and was recruited as an H-Back by Oklahoma. Millard is unspectacular as a rusher but has good hands out of the backfield and is a very good blocker. He also has the ability to contribute on special teams.

    • acm says:

      not a big fan of this one, tbh. Like the Kirksey value and the 6th and later picks. Same problem with OC Stork regarding positional versatility at the NFL and not sure he would be much of an improvement at OC either. Would rather see them take someone like Bodine there or later (potentially would be there in the 5th/6th or so) and can play OG too. twitter rumors ;) from today have the Pats very high on him.

      Quarles – like the player, but he is very similar in build and function to Armstead. Where the Pats interior D needs to improve is run-stopping and pass rush. You can plug Siliga to stop the run but that hurts the pass rush. plug in Quarles and armstead/jones in there and you are getting gashed for 300+ easy yards on the ground. As I am sure we both agree, Wilfork is an unknown at this point in time.
      So, if you are gonna spend an early pick on DL, I think you need a player who gives you both run stopping and pass rushing abilities in one. Can’t think of a better option than Daquan Jones in that regard. Nix III might be an option too but will likely be gone by this point.

      T. Murphy – like the player but I don’t think his versatility from college translates well into the NFL. Think he is an on-the-line OLB aka pure DE at the pros. So, you take a big DE early and then another one late in A. Lynch (great value there imo and well worth the risk). Now, considering the Pats already have two big DE in Jones and Bucanon, with Lynch also on board, I’d say that if you want an OLB with that early pick, a smaller player (Attaochu, for example) would be a better pick. He will give you a speed-rusher for DE, which you don’t have on the team and a better chance at OLB/LB versatility in the NFL than Murphy.

      Andre Williams – like the player (Go Eagles) but in the 4th round at the earliest and would rather have Terrance West, tbh. I think Williams is a bit of too much of a straight-line runner and doesn’t have the explosiveness and cutting ability of West. Another option at Rb would be LaDarius Perkins, who is a smaller, stocky (Ray Rice like) player and can also back up Vereen in the passing game (also a need); should be available in the 6th round.
      I have been a vocal supporter for the need to draft a RB relatively early but hope they can find a short-term fix in free agency (say michael Bush). Won’t be the ideal solution but think there would be better ways to fill a relatively early pick than RB (if they get Bush, that is). So, my opinion on spending a pick on a power RB would vary depending on whether Bush comes on board but even then early 3rd round, and for Williams at that, would be too rich imo.

      Yawin Smallwood – I liked the player from my very early mocks this year as a replacement for Spikes but the more I looked at him, the less I found to like. He actually has the physique to be a run stuffer but is very slow as an athlete and what makes him even slower in game-time is his average to even poor reads/play awareness. That’s just no good in my book, don’t want another Spikes on the team and even worse a Spikes with bad play recognition. If you want a LB who’s solid vs the run, I’d suggest Shayne Skov in that range. He isn’t the most athletic LB but he has great awareness/instincts and that slows the game for him and helps hm play the game faster than his 40 time would suggest. Skov is a player on a totally different level than Smallwood, imo.

      So, if I had to keep to your mock structure and positions, I’d personally prefer:

      2) DaQuan Jones, Jeremiah Attaochu
      3) Dakota Dozier, Shayne Skov
      4) C. Kirksey, Terrance West/Russel Bodine
      6) Aaron Lynch, Colt Lyerla, Russell Bodine/LaDarius Perkins
      7) Trey Millard

    • big w says:

      Just think we need best ss get the middle of the oline better, and replenish linebackers as a priority. But who knows when those guys will go. So I put emphasis on Buchanon and Markus Smith and Markus Martin .

    • Justin says:

      The Pats aren’t going to touch Lyerla. He’s an athletic receiving tight end but his off-field problems at Oregon are too much even for the Pats. Cocaine possession, quit the team, and has been known to be a real hot head. Pats will steer clear of him. And 3 LBs? I don’t know about that. Murphy and Kirksey would be good fits, but Smallwood doesn’t make sense. Kirksey can play multiple LB positions and would contribute on special teams immediately. Hightower is taking over at middle linebacker, they don’t need to spend a 3rd rounder on that position, that’s a wasted pick.

      • RMillette says:

        Acm, I agree. I probably wouldn’t be happy if this is the way the draft turns out. I’m just trying to call it as I see it and since the run on d lineman going fast seems to be waining. I can see tuitt falling back to this slot. I see if as a little early fr jones. I disagree with your assessment on Murphy. I see him adapting quite well as rushing olb. Jmo.

        I really don’t see much of a reason to take a SS in this draft. There are some talented players but none of them strike me as an improvement over harmon. Buchanan may be the best bet but the bigger hitters in this draft aren’t any better than Harmon in my opinion. I just don’t see it as worth the high round pick. This is not a strong draft at this position.

        I see the front 7 as the biggest depth need and I think it’s even more so on the linebacker group. We have a legit starting 3, 4 if we count the already overworked ninkovich. But a part of this draft need is to give him a break. So right now if we go with 4 lbs. beauharnais is our number 4. I don’t like that. I see Murphy as a role player both at de and as a rush olb. That helps solve 2 depth needs. Kirksey can play all positions but but that still only leaves 2 backups. I’d rather see a pick like Smallwood make the team than have a special teams only player like Tracy or Chris white.

  5. gil says:

    Holes Patriots need to FILL–in order to reach the Super Bowl. Last year, when we lost Vince and Mayo, it was a big hole on defense on both positions. Offence was terrible, did we upgrade that position this offseason? NO, not yet. Therefore, we need upgrade on (WO and TE). I believe patriots will draft couple of TEs. Ridley and Vereen is a free agent next year, and Ridley is a goner. We will also draft couple of RBs. All best receivers will be taken before 29, unless we trade up.

    2nd– Jace Amaro TE, led nation in yards.
    2nd pick– Jarvis Landry, a WO. Spider Man. Right now, Pats is in love with LSU player.
    3rd pick– Deone Bucannon, Safety, physical and ball hawk. He will close the middle gap that Steve Gregory didn’t do.
    3rd pick– Bishop Sankey RB.
    4th pick– Christian Kirksey. LB Iowa, great in coverage, quick and athletic.
    4th– Kelcy Quarles, DT, great interior pass rusher. or Daquan Jones, penn stats DT, a mammoth.
    6th pick– Dri Archer, is an offensive weapon, he will be lined up every where. Brady’s new toy.
    6th pick– Marion Grice, RB
    6th pick– Zach Fulton, OG, Tennessee (6’4″/315)
    7th pick– Colt Lyerla TE, character isssue though. Talented.

    • RMillette says:

      I have a hard time seeing Quarles being available in the 4th and a very difficult time seeing Archer available in the 6th.

      • acm says:

        personally, I don’t think Archer goes before the 6th. If a team does draft him earlier, fully expect it to be one of those Raiders-like franchises, if you know what I mean.

        agree on Quarles though, 3rd rounder for me, late 4th and into comp. pick range would be quite a stretch.

    • Matty says:

      Much rather have best pass rusher available round one. Niklas round 2, and best safety/LB available round 3.

  6. Matty says:

    We are thin at DE, DT, TE, LB, and S. Harmon might be the answer, but we need someone else who can play back there, a backup. Yes, even a 4th rounder would do it; just has to be better than Steve Gregory or Patrick Chung. If we had a quick LB/tackling machine then strong safety wouldn’t be such a big deal. Mccourty is good, Revis is great, LBs are decent- but no tacklers among them.
    I agree that DE should be first pick, unless one of the elite LB or Safeties falls and the elite pass rushers are gone. I’d be on with niklas in round 2 or CJ in round 3.
    But I’m not asking for much- a better safety than Steve Gregory!

  7. Justin says:

    2nd Rd- Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
    2nd Rd (62)- C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
    3rd Rd- A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
    3rd Rd (93)- Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
    4th Rd (130)- Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
    4th Rd (140)- Trai Turner, OG, LSU
    6th Rd- Antone Exum, DB, Virginia Tech
    6th Rd (198)- Kevin Pierre-Louis, OLB, Boston College
    6th Rd (206)- Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame
    7th Rd (244)- Gator Hoskins, TE, Marshall

    • Matty says:

      We need TE and rush DE for sure, but we really need a safety, even if Harmon, a totally unproven player, turns out to be decent. No safeties left in free agency. We need a safety! Chung cost us the super bowl. I really want Harmon to work, but it would be a huge mistake take not to take a safety; third round at the latest. This is a passing league- we need a safety!

      • Justin says:

        I disagree, I don’t think safety is as crucial a need as most people say. Devin McCourty is one of the very best free safeties in the league. Darrelle Revis automatically eliminates the opponents number one receiver. We don’t NEED to spend a high pick on a safety to start opposite McCourty. Pass rusher is the position that should warrant the most attention. Chandler Jones and Ninkovich are the only legitimate threats to rush the quarterback. With the improvement on the backend and the ability for Belichick to enforce a press-man defense, quarterbacks are going to find it harder to get the ball out quickly thus the need for more pass rushers. I expect there to be options at safety available in the 4th-6th round range; Ahmad Dixon, Craig Loston, Dion Bailey worth consideration in the 4th. And Antone Exum, Isaiah Lewis, Tre Boston, Mo Alexander in later rounds.

        • RMillette says:

          While I do agree with you that safety isn’t a pressing need, I can’t say I’m a big fan of your mock and I would probably be unhappy if this is how it turns out. I feel we can do better than Crichton that early in the draft and I don’t think much of C.J Would rather wait for Lyerla. I would be very unhappy if a QB and WR are picked in this draft if we keep Mallet, the positions aren’t draft needs if we want to win now. Should be looking for LB OL and DL in these picks. Trent Murphy and Christian Kirksey come to mind. I do like Andre a lot. Later rounds, I’d look for Matt Patchan instead of Watt and Millard over Hoskins

    • Matty says:

      Trading our first for a high second and third? That’d be great- but unlikely.

      • Justin says:

        I’m just going by the same draft format as the writer.

      • Justin says:

        It’s not far fetched, though. Last year the Pats traded the 29th overall pick to Minnesota and in return got a 2nd round (59), 3rd round (91), and two 7th round (229, 235) picks. They could very well get a high second rounder and a third rounder this year.

  8. Michael says:

    I love this mock. Huge upside with these picks. If this draft happened I would be over the moon.

    • matty says:

      I like the overall talent on the defense, but we need a tacking machine either an LB or safety. If a top tier talent is available in round one at rush DE, LB, or safety , we should do it.

  9. matty says:

    Don’t like this mock. We need a safety: if a top safety isn’t available,then go with best available player, whether it’s a DE,LB,TE,or receiver. I haven’t seen Pryor play but if he’s there at 29 I’d pick him. Nix, Hageman, Shazier,Dee Ford are all good options in round 1. Round 2, TE or Safety- Bucannon will be there. Niklas maybe.
    Round 3, if we haven’t gotten a safety yet, must do it here.

    • RMillette says:

      Completely disagree with your assessment on safety and really don’t see them picking one before the 4th round unless Dix falls to 29 or Pryor falls into the 2nd. Safety is at best the 5th need for the pats and it falls even further down the list if they truly intend to use Logan Ryan at the position. A DE DT coverage LB And TE are all much bigger needs IMO.

      • matty says:

        Safety play has been bad for years. Releasing Grsegory was a smart move, as was letting Wilson go. I’d be happy with a DE like Ford in the first, but right now Harmon is the starter at Safety, and he’s a question mark. Safety is the weak link on the team.

        • RMillette says:

          Don’t see it. I think the ss position has been badly exposed by the lack of a pass rush and poor coverage skills from the LB corps and extended periods of Kyle Arrington playing outside instead of the slot due to injuries. Improve upon those positions and I think you solve the problem at safety. While I wouldn’t say our ss has been a pro bowler. I think they’re just left trying to cover too many other flaws and have been hung out to dry.

        • matty says:

          I agree that the pass rush isnt good enough, and Ford, Tuitt, etc. would be great, but Gregory was released for poor play, not for cap reasons. Chung was lousy before him. I’d go with. DE round 1,then TE and Safety with the next two picks- best available. :

        • RMillette says:

          No article I’m reading on the subject agrees with your point if view on Gregory’s release. The globe, nfl.com and the herald all clearly state it was for cap reasons with the globe even commenting that Gregory had a career year for tackles last season. Nfl.com goes as far to say that if Gregory doesn’t find an above vets minimum deal he could be back on the pats so if you have an article that supports your position I would be happy to read it.

          I’d like to see them trade back at 1. Need additional picks badly and if they can find a way to get say 2 more in the 4th. The safety I have my eye on would e Craig Loston.

        • Matty says:

          Gregory’s $3 million salary made it easy, but he doesn’t even show up on any free agent tracker. He’s small, slow, and just an average tackler. I don’t want him back for league minimum. I’d be surprised to see him in the league again. If pats thought he could play he’d be back at Chung money already.
          Rodney Harrison has said it the last few years- Pats need a prototypical strong safety. I agree.

        • RMillette says:

          Try ESPN’s free agent tracker, Gregory was really easy to find on there. Or NFL.com’s…or CBS Sports where they list him as the 15th best Free Agent Safety for this off season. Just saying. I’m not gonna try to claim that Gregory is anything better than average. But to say that the Patriots cut him for poor play when he had a career year is just silly. He got cut cause he had a nearly 3 mil budget hit and isn’t worth it.

      • Matty says:

        15th best free agent safety is not too good. Wasn’t in the top 100 free agents on cbssports.
        I saw poor play, belicheck saw poor play, the fact that he’s had no interest proves he played poorly
        He had a career year, but for him, not for a good safety. He was one of the league’s worst starting safeties; an average safety is worth $3 mil. Gregory was a huge disappointment.
        But let’s agree that a rush DE would be great first round.

        • Matty says:

          But getting back to this mock, a guy with two ACLs as the top pick- not something to get excited about. Then a running back, when value for backs is so low? Again, not a good pick foe a fan. Niklas is interesting as a second rounder, otherwise lousy draft.

        • RMillette says:

          Add onto that a wr. While I agree Coleman’s good and probably even a player we should have. We already have 8 Wrs on the roster. 7 if you don’t count slater. Harrison at 6’3 is going to have to be the big man. Too many people already here to make that pick in my opinion.

        • Matty says:

          Looks like if a new WR were to make the team, either Slater would be cut, or someone put on IR. If Harrison is healthy and has a great camp he’ll bump Thompkins off the roster.
          I think Slater is a cut possibility, despite excellent play; may be too much of a luxury to have just a special teamer- lousy receiver.

    • Josh says:

      I completely agree with matty. i would love to see the pats get pryor. I might even consider trading up to get him. If they manage to get him I would like to see the pats use their 2nd round pick on a TE preferably Austin Seferian-Jenkins. But if they don’t get Pryor I could see them taking Deonne Buchanon in the 2nd.

  10. John M. says:

    Everybody have fun tonight! Everybody Patrick Chung tonight!

  11. qwerty says:

    Patriots select Long snappers in the first, second and third round thereby demolishing all draft predictions.

  12. Jeff V says:

    Im sold on Trey Millard from OU being the impact player on offense the Pats need. Draft Amaro with the first pick get Millard in the 3rd round.

    If anyone on here has not seen Millard you need to go watch the film.

    • jim r says:

      IMO a little high for Amaro and Millard you should be able to get in the later rounds. Not really sure why they would draft a fullback however they did sign Chung today, so I guess anything is possible

      • RMillette says:

        Millard is an excellent run blocker, decent runner, and was recruited out of high school as a TE, he’s seen playing time as a H-Back, FB and out in the slot. I view him as an upgrade over Develin. Millard can play special teams well and play from multiple positions as a blocker, runner and reciever. This is why I think they will pick him. However, I agree that if they pick him, he won’t be picked until round 6 at the earliest.

      • acm says:

        agree on the grade eval of Amaro and Millard (very good player but the ACL injury should make him slide quite a bit). He is a FB but has the versatility of being able to play as a big RB and a move-TE, which is what the Pats have been needing since the AHern debacle.

        As for Chung, I am still hoping it will turn out to be just a bad dream tomorrow morning.

  13. Dan Sullivan says:

    Very good signing Patrick Chung very aggressive just needs to stay healthy.

    Patriots Predictions
    Free Agents
    Bruce Campbell OT Panthers
    Dan Connor ILB Panthers

    Draft
    1 Trade for 2,3 and 6th round picks.
    2 Ra’Shede Hageman DL Minnesota
    2 Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
    2 Paul Richardson WR Colorado
    3 Trevor Reilly OLB/DE Utah
    3 Trade for 2nd.
    4 Trade for 2nd.
    4 Ryan Carrethers NT Arkansas
    6 Mason Walters G Texas
    6 Silas Redd RB USC
    6 Marcus Whitfield LB Maryland
    7 Jake Murphy TE Utah

  14. acm says:

    They’ve brought back Patrick F-ing Chung. WTF! Steve Gregory should have never started at S for the Pats and yet he was 10 times the player Chung ever was.

    • Jim R says:

      Ha Ha Ha Everything was going smooth BB needed to do something to irk people

      • acm says:

        tell me about it. should’ve known this was coming – things had been going way too smoothly this off-season. Bad angles, lack of basic instincts, stupid penalties, lack of range, can’t stay on the field – what’s not to like.
        Even now there must be at least 5 safeties better than Chung still out there, Y. Bell comes to mind. Even Ihedigbo would have been far better.
        Hope they draft someone like Bucannon or A. Wilson somehow manages to turn the clock back ’cause Chung making that roster would be a disaster.

  15. Pete says:

    I wouldn’t mind them staying at 29 if Kony Ealy is available. Great 3 cone time, good length and big enough to move inside on passing downs. would be nice to have Jones, Ealy and Nink rotating on the ends in the 4-3…and hope Buchanan develops.
    I like the idea of drafting a C/OG in the 2nd or 3rd to challenge Wendell and Connolly.
    Others I like on paper: Bucannon at S, Fiedorowicz at TE, FSU’s Jones at OLB, Turner from N. Dakota as OT/OG. Maybe Coleman at DT later in the draft. I like Terrence West at RB, but not sure about drafting him in the 4th.

  16. RMillette says:

    I have to agree with the comments about Easley, I wouldn’t spend a pick that high on someone who is such a huge risk, way too many flags to pick that high. With 8 on the roster, I also can’t see them picking a WR in this draft. LaFell and improvements to Dobson, Boyce, and Thompkins along with Mark Harrison (6’3 230) being healthy will have to suffice for WR’s and the help Brady gets should be at TE. I also don’t think we take a RB unless we get mutliple picks for Mallet, like a 3rd and 4th. I just don’t see room for it in what we need. I do like your idea on the trade though so I’ll stick with that for my mock.

    Round 2 Stephon Tuitt DL Troy Niklas TE
    Round 3 Trent Murphy OLB/DE Weston Richburg C
    Round 4 Christian Kirksey OLB Jordan Tripp MLB
    Round 6 Colt Lyerla TE Tyler Starr LB Matt Patchan OT/OG
    Round 7 Trey Millard TE/RB/FB

    • Jim R says:

      Addresses a lot of needs, good one

    • acm says:

      Good mock, well thought out. Personally, like a lot of the players there. Think Kirksey and Tripp might be a bit of an overkill at the LB position (I consider Kirksey to be an off-line OLB i.e. a 4-3 OLB) but like both players, so can’t complain too much. Have trouble seeing Tripp be available for the 4th comp. pick though, he had a great combine and his stock has risen. Not impossible he falls there but have my doubts about it. Maybe I would try to work in a DT like C. Reid, an OL-man or a SAF in those earlish-to-mid rounds as opposed two LBs (can take the 2nd one later) but that’s nitpicking, I guess.

      Not sure about Richburg – I like the player just have my doubts he possesses the positional versatility Pats like in their linemen. I think he is destined to play C only at the NFL level as he lacks the size, but above all the athleticism and strength to play at OG or OT. I know OC is an important position but with Wendell back, Connolly also able to play there and players like B. Cave coming thru the ranks, not sure spending a valuable pick (in a deep draft, that is a valuable pick) on a non-versatile player like Richburg would be a good allocation of resources. How likely is it that Richburg would be a better NFL OC than Wendell, Connolly or Cave? Want to add an OC with some versatility, I’d look at someone like OC/OG Russell Bodine later in the draft -guy is bullish strong, good technique and has some vinegar running thru those veins.
      Early-to mid picks I think would be better spent on more versatile OL-men – Dozier and Bitonio come to mind in that 3rd round range.

      lately I have been moving away from taking a big, Y TE in the early picks – Niklas and CJF have been my best bets for a Pats’ fit. Just not sure the value is there as opposed to other positions of need. Not sure someone like Gilmore, Murphy, Jensen, Najvar late in the draft won’t be close enough to what niklas/CJF would offer anyway. If they manage to land one of those guys as well as Lyerla and/or Millard late, I have a hard time justifying going for Niklas/CJF early unless they are ready to move on from Gronk.

      • RMillette says:

        Thank you, I can agree with the idea on Richburg, I just think he’ll be the best O line man at that pick and think its too early to be picking the others further back.

        My logic on the LB’s works like this. One of our needs is an outside pass rusher. I don’t see Tuitt alone as that solution as Tuitt can’t play OLB in a 3-4, hence Trent Murphy. Murphy is a 3-4 OLB that can also get down in the dirt and play some DE giving even more help along the line in getting Nink and Jones some breaks. I agree with you on Kirksey, I see him as a 4-3 OLB with maybe some potential to play ILB in a 3-4 in a coverage role. This is another area of need as opposed to replacing what we lost. Jordan Tripp to me, is the Spikes/Fletcher depth replacement for the time being. Tyler Starr is a great late pick to me simply for his versatility, he’s basically played everywhere. I can see maybe letting the TE position go early on to take a lineman instead of Richburg and trading the 3rd back some but even with Millard and Lyerla I’d still look to take another TE like A.C. Leonard late if thats what happens.

        I’d really like to see Mallet get traded, for a 3rd and a 4th I think we could grab McCarron and Andre Williams, just think that’d be a good direction to go in.

        • acm says:

          Another reason for letting off an early pick for a TE was to work in other positions of need – OL, DL, LB/DE, SS. Basically, the OL-men I think would be a good fit with the what the Pats do, including the versatility element would go something like: Bitonio (more 2nd than 3rd round), Dozier and Thomas (3rd round), Steen (4th round), Bodine and Larsen (5-6th round), Fulton, Urschel and Long (6-7th). Not particluarly in love with the OCs tbh – only see Martin as potentially having some versatility among the big names but that’s an if. To me he is more of a OC-only player, as well, just like the others expected to go relatively high at OC this year – Richberg, Swanson and Stork.

          Ultimately, I think they’d do well to get a big, Y-TE even if late in the draft as a red zone threat. getting AC Leonard on top of Lyerla and Millard would be overkill in the move-TE department. And he has his bag of issues too, and it ain’t just a carry-on, if you catch my drift. Lyerla would be enough of a headache already. So, someone like Gilmore, Jensen, etc in those late rounds seems like a better way of balancing out the roster in more ways than one.

          Regarding LB and DE, that’s exactly my line of thinking too – get a DE/OLB/LB type of guy and kill two birds with one stone. The players I like for that role are Attaochu, Lawrence, Murphy, M. Smith, in that order. The reason why I give priority to the first two is that they play angry, aggressive and are stronger than your average tweener (like M. Smtih). Basically, I think smaller but speedier yet strong speed-rushers in the mold of Avril, Clemons, Mathis, Shaun Phillips, etc would better complement what the Pats already have at DE. Adding someone like Kareem martin for instance would be redundant with C. Jones and Bucannon already on the roster, especially at the price of an early pick. And then there is the added bonus of positional versatility, especially with Attaochu, just like they had with Jamie Collins.
          That’s why I have Murphy coming a bit later in order of preference – he is big body and not likely to play an off-line LB in the NFL. Still, I do like him as a player and can see him bring in some OLB versatility to the roster.

          As for kirksay and tripp, I do have serious doubts they are both available in late 4th. I see their role in the NFL exactly as you said but still, think would be best to get only one in the mid rounds – I see both being gone in the top 110-120 players, tbh. There are some good players later on, as well – Williamson, Barrow, Powel, Pierre-Louis, Howard Jones, to name a few. Even if I am wrong about Kirksay and Tripp and they do fall to late 4th, I think one of those picks would be better spent on another position of need outside of LB. But as I said, it depends on how the draft is going and if it turns your way, I wouldn’t mind it one bit.

          As for T. Starr, I very much like the player but not too sure about his versatility at the NFL level. I have him as one of the better pass-rusher in the later rounds as I think he best projects at DE/rushing OLB aka just DE. He did show some good hips, change of direction and quick feet but not sure that would be enough for dropping back at the pros. Should help him become a very explosive and elusive DE, though.

        • RMillette says:

          I see Murphy exactly as you say him, which is why I’d like to see an early pick spent on him. I can agree with your assesment, may have to change the order with Tripp going first but this mock has Kirksey going at the comp pick so with any luck he’ll still be there.

          I agree on Pierre-Louis, I’m a BC fan so I’ve seen him play.

          I can see using that pick on someone else, SS Craig Loston or RB Andre Williams comes to mind in the 4th. I’d rather Kirksey, maybe Murphy can play some MLB and hopefully Starr can too.

          I do see Starr as someone who can play the front and be a rush player from all LB positions. I realize he got moved from the SS position but he has to have some coverage skills fitting for a LB.

  17. Pete H. says:

    I think the Pats are about done in free agency, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Dustin Keller or Will Smith on 1 year deals to provide depth and compete with draft picks at their positions. Both could also help with the compensatory pick formulas, as Keller could get a nice contract with a comeback year, even if he starts slowly, and Smith was cut so won’t hurt them and again could sign elsewhere next season.

  18. Pete H. says:

    Mike’s mock seems to address needs pretty well, even if people don’t like the individual players for different reasons. I could see the Pats also targeting an interior 0-line talent in the 3rd instead of a RB.

  19. Pete H. says:

    I can see the Pats trading out of the first round, but I think they may go for a second and a first next year in the trade. If so, their draft may look like this:
    1st: traded for a second and a 2015 first
    2nd (from trade): DT/DE – Tuitt
    2nd: TE – Amaro
    3rd: DE – Lawrence
    4th: LB – Tripp
    4th (comp.): OT – Hurst
    6th (PHI): G – Long
    6th: RB – Wilder Jr.
    7th: TE – Blanchflower

    Tried to look for potential value picks that hopefully aren’t too unrealistic that also fit needs for either this or next season. I could also see interior line or defensive end addressed in the second round. What do folks think?

    • Pete H. says:

      Nikklas, Smith, and Kirksey could also be taken instead of Amaro, Lawrence, and Tripp, but I wanted to give some other options at the same position in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

  20. Dylan C says:

    I thought I posted this last night but I’m not seeing it now so Ill post again, sorry if this is a double post.

    29: Pats trade their 1st and 7th for early 2nd and 3rd and 5th rounders

    Early 2nd: Stephon Tuitt – DE 3-4 or DT in a 4-3. Can play all over the front really which I think makes him very valuable. Gives D allot of flexibility. Probably can still get him in the early 2nd, hence trade back.

    62: Troy Niklas – TE – Pretty common pick but I like it. May rise up draft boards and not be available this late.

    Early 3rd: Kareem Martin – DE – Traditional 4-3 DE, can help give Jones and Nink a break.

    93: Yawin SmallWood – LB – Good at everything but not great at anything, need LB depth behind starting 3.

    130: Daniel McCullers – NT – Pats get their prototypical NT run stuffer.

    140: De’Anthony Thomas – A – A for athlete, Swiss Army Knife type player the pats love. RB, Slot, KR. I also considered Lache Seastrunk here but I am a little biased towards DAT.

    Early 5th: Colt Lyerla – TE – If he falls this far he is to good to pass up on IMO. Hard to tell if he will go earlier or underrated.

    198: Kevin Pierre – Louis – LB – Could become a solid cover LB and can contribute on special teams

    206: Zach Fulton – Solid Depth at interior O-Line

    Let me know what you think!

  21. bags says:

    OK, mock, with a pile of trades a la BB (and yes I used a “Jimmy Johnson” trade calculator):

    Pats: 2014: 29, 120, 206; 2015: 3rd
    Vikings: 2014: 40, 72, 184; 2015: 6th

    Pats ’14 40 & 184 for Lions ’14 45 & 111

    Pats ’14 111 & ’15 6th for KC ’14 124 and ’15 5th

    Pats ’14 158 & 198 for SF ’14 129

    Pats ’14 244 & ’15 kc 5th for TBB 221 & ’15 6th & 7th.

    That gives the Pats 7 picks in the top 4 rounds – was 5. It cost a ’15 3rd rounder, but got back two 6ths and a 7th – all in ’15.

    Net NEP 2014 picks: (2nd: 45, 62) (3rd: 72, 93) (4th: 124, 129, 140) (7th: 221) (players listed w/ current CBS grade)

    45: TE Sefarian-Jenkins (45th: quick, but not fast, good hands, big, will have to toughen up) or Niklas (54th good blocker, tough, not an advanced route runner) – OT Morgan Moses also possible here.

    62: OT Antonio Richardson (56th: Combination of size, agility, patience and power. Shocking athleticism for his size). If Richardson is gone, consider RB’s Hyde or Carey or LB Attaochu if still on board.

    72: DT Kelcy Quarles (72nd: quick DT, also can play 5 tec DE), should be rotation guy immediately, starter in a few years – in many other years a ~#40-45 range pick.

    93: C Travis Swanson (98th: good balance, good in both run and pass, not premium speed on run blocking). If he’s gone Richburg should still be available.

    124: RB Terrance West (118th: follows blockers, strong, productive); if gone: LB Christian Jones (123rd: elite speed, plays upright at times, needs to improve awareness in passing game)

    129: Christian Jones (above) or Adrian Hubbard (130th: a OLB that can cover slower recs, attack the passer and make tackles.

    140: SS Ahmad Dixon (146th: downhill in the box SS on day 1, good feet, very smart, needs coaching to be a good cover guy – but has a real upside. Could be a replacement for Harmon or Ebner depending on a range of factors)

    221: RB Rajion Neal (208th: good hands, good blocker, solid back – my bet is he’s better than Bolden) or DE Taylor Hart (223rd: quick, strong, durable, played every DL position) good against the run already, needs to lose weak mid section – 2 year project – but NFL ready in many ways unusual such a late spec at this position)

  22. Kevin says:

    Why is no one mocking Stanley Jean baptist to us in the second.
    Honestly we are transitioning to a press man scheme he would fit right in next to browner or revis on the outside other than that good mock

    • Philip says:

      ’cause we don’t need to spend a high pick on someone who provides only depht … we have revis, browner, dennard and ryan … all can play press

      we need impact players (DT, DE, TE, SS) in the first 3 rounds IMO

  23. Dylan.C says:

    Okay here is my latest Mock, Let me know what you guys think. I personally think pass rusher is #1 need as you can tell. Gotta give Jones and Nink some help, I dont think Peyton got even pressured once in that AFC Championship game.

    Pick 29: Trade back for early 2nd & 3rd round picks

    Early Second:Stephon Tuitt: 3/4DE or 4/3DT give D allot of flexibility

    62:Troy Niklas: TE

    3:Early/Mid Third:Kareem Martin: DE 4/3 DE

    93:Yawin SmallWood: LB

    130:Daniel McCullers: DT

    140:De’Anonthony Thomas: A for Athlete (Thought About Lache Seastrunk here also)

    Mid 5th:Colt Lyerla: TE

    198:Kevin Pierre-Louis: LB/Special teams

    206:Zach Fulton: OG

    244:Brock Vereen: S/Special Teams

  24. Jack says:

    I’d like to know what everyone’s opinion is on Silver Siliga is. I know it’s a small sample, but it seemed like he was pretty solid up front for the Pats when he played last year. Can we count on him enough to not draft an interior DL early on and go for another position or positions of need (e.g OL,DE,TE etc.)? I *feel* like we can, but then again it seems like a lot of media/fans are somewhat discounting him. Is it just because of his journeyman status, or what is the issue?

    • Pete H. says:

      Siliga filled in well, but like Kyle Love before him, he doesn’t appear to be the type of impact player you want as a starting defensive tackle. Of course he could develop, but his draft and journeyman status tend to indicate that the ceiling may not be too high. Overall, he’s probably best suited to be a role player, being brought in to stuff the run or in goal-line situations, and only starting from time to time due to injury. In that role, he’s probably effective and worth having on the roster if he continues to work hard, but he’s not the type of player that you want to project into a starting role – maybe your 4th DT.

    • Alex (freemanator) says:

      I’d see him as a great backup run stuffing tackle. Not an ideal 0-Tech, but a good 1-Tech (NT in the 43 front) and so a good guy to rotate with Vince, or play alongside him against run heavy formations.

      Would still see a 3-Tech penetrating DT as a valuable add, so I would prefer someone like Tuitt to Nix.

  25. AM says:

    Nice selections through the first four rounds (plus Zach Fulton), except for Jeremy Hill. Between the battery plea and the sexual assault charges–not to mention the mediocre speed–he kind of screams “red flag.” If the team is really looking for a power back in the middle rounds, I’d much prefer to see Andre Williams as the pick.

  26. acm says:

    Ok, now that I am done with my rant on Easley, let me give it a go. Players to add in free agency:
    RB – Michael Bush and/or Andre Brown (bruising RB or two for camp and see what shakes out there)
    TE – Owen Daniels and/or Dustin Keller (savvy, experienced TEs, who should come cheap due to being fresh off injury issues).
    DE – Robert Ayers or Will Smith (picking thru garbage here but let’s see what shakes out in camp)

    Top priority in the draft, with the early picks, finish up what they started on defense in free agency – that press-men secondary needs a pass-rush (both interior and on the edges) and a SS:

    2 – DL DaQuan Jones / Stephon Tuitt (take care of interior pass-rush, depending on type of player needed)

    2 – DE/LB Jeremiah Attaochu (add a versatile LB/DE player to create much needed LB depth and add a wild-card speed rusher)

    3 – SS Deone Bucannon / Telvin Smith (get that extra man in the box, a SS who can actually tackle and has the athleticism to drop in coverage or slam the door in a TE’s face)

    3 – OL Dakota Dozier / Joel Bitonio (an OG and RT for depth and rejuvenation of the OL)

    4 – LB Jordan Tripp / Shane Skov / Avery Williamson / Lamin Barrow (need more depth at LB, would even somehow try to trade up for Tripp)

    4 (comp) – S/CB Dontae Johnson (a big, physical player to develop as one if not both of Revis/McCourty will quite likely be gone next year; need another Safety and press-men CB anyway; big enough to trouble TEs and fast/agile enough to shadow WRs)

    6 – TE Gilmore/Jensen/Murphy/Lyerla (depending on what type of TE they need)

    6 – RB/FB/TE Trey Millard (a Pats type player, versatile, smart, high character leader; can develop into a big-bodied RB for the future as well as a move-TE; may require a red-shirt year due to injury but that’s an if)

    6 – RB LaDarius Perkins (another Sproles-sized change of pace RB to help out Vereen) or DE Aaron Lynch (might be still around)

    7 – WR John Brown (very versatile TYHilton-type WR, good routs, excellent hands, top-end speed and agility; can be a deep threat as well as a slot WR; with TJ Moe out, will provide depth for camp and may well earn a spot).

    • AM says:

      I don’t really mind the Easley pick–torn ACLs aren’t what they used to be, especially for younger players, and trading off size and power for a bit of speed at DT is a wise idea for this team. Interior pass rush is a huge need, and not just on third downs. I do love Shane Skov, though–I think he’d be a steal in the fourth round.

      • acm says:

        torn ACLs may no longer be career ending injuries but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an effect on a players game not just physically but above all mentally, especially when two such injuries happen in quick succession. There is no telling how all this will affect a player’s game and approach on the field. Cutting, quick change of direction, explosiveness were Easely’s best assets, all that – his overall playing style – may well change however in the aftermath of those injuries.
        I am all for speed in the middle but that doesn’t mean it has to come in the form of an undersized player (he’s no Sheldon Richardson and won’t be an all down player for the Pats) with tons of physical and off-field concerns … all at the price of a very valuable pick. That’s my main gripe about Easley – if you are gonna throw a hailmarry like that, do it in the 4th, not early 2nd; a player with his circumstances should not be a priority pick.

    • jim r says:

      Two of the players I really like in this draft Tripp and Buchannon you have on this list, When you watch film on them they are very active and aggressive. Attaochu looks like he plays the game angry which is something they could use. One of the other LB’s I like is the Iowa kid Kirksey who looks like his motor does not have an off switch.

      • acm says:

        you mentioned the main reasons why I have Bucannon, Tripp and Attaochu in my mock … that and the need at the respective positions.

        I like Kirksay too, just forgot adding him as an option to that 4th round pick; I listed several players there because that would be a depth-forming pick and a player with one style of play or another may be best fit there, depending on what’s already on the roster.

  27. acm says:

    Good mock but this fascination of the writers here with Easley is mind-boggling, to say the least. Must be his gator roll or the hand waving ’cause he sure as hell has nothing to do with being a typical Patriots pick.
    Even if he hadn’t blown both his knees, he’d still be a long shot for the Pats to spend an early pick on due to his less than ideal size for a 4-3 DT. He is best suited to being an undersized 3-4 DE, imo but too small for a 4-3 DT especially considering the only massive body on the Pats roster who could provide apt support for Easley in the middle comes in the form of an injured Wilfork, who is unlikely to be anything more than a situational run-stuffer from now on.

    The above, however, isn’t even the biggest issue with picking Easley early – the guy is still recovering from a 2nd ACL tear in like 2.5 calendar years. Anybody feeling lucky to venture a guess which part of a player’s game gets affected the most by such injuries? Yep, explosiveness and agility, which is Easley’s bread and butter along with the salami on top. Even worse, this is his second such injury in a very short period. A sequence like this messes up an athlete’s mind and they’d have a hell of time trusting themselves (their body) again on the field.

    And to complete the puzzle, there is the odd off-field issue/character concern to boot. But why not, it’s not like much could go wrong with drafting a Florida player with that sort of baggage.

    All in all, unless BB has a monster SM hard-on for gator rolls or has completely lost his mind, I can’t figure for the life of me why the Pats would spend their first pick in the draft on a player, whose fit in their system is suspect at best, may well require a red shirt rookie season, and has a ton of history with serious injuries that happen to affect exactly the part of Easley’s game, which may make the Pats think of drafting him in the first place. The arrest issue I wouldn’t even bother with ’cause after Hernandez who cares about that anyway.

    To be perfectly honest, my confusion with picking Easley early goes so deep that if he were to again blow his other knee tomorrow and was arrested for being Hernandez’ get-away driver in a drive-by of 2-3 years back, I fully expect to see him mocked at 29 to the Pats or maybe even have them trade up for him.

    Then again, what do I know, don’t have any of them Patriots insider twitter sources.

    • Jeff M says:

      Truth…this seems to be the only sight who is so high on Easley despite his injuries, character flags, being undersized and something massively over looked is his short arms, which is something Bill is not a big fan of on the DL, only on his interior OL.

      I can’t figure out this fascination…
      Thankfully come draft day, I look forward to being proved right as Easley get’s passed by the Pats MULTIPLE times.

      • acm says:

        you and me both. I can understand the need for a similar type player on the DL just don’t understand why so many are acting as if one can just turn a blind eye to a player’s circumstances as if none of that matters at all. And to see Easley as a bad fit for the Pats, you don’t even have dig that deep before the shit hits the fan.

  28. GM-In-Training says:

    I haven’t seen anything that convinces me Niklas will develop into a receiver. He seems like a stout blocker, but so are a bunch of 315 pound guys in the draft. You can’t safely assume a guy will start catching better in the pros. I do like the idea of having Gronk, TE TBD who is 6’6″, and Coleman in the Red Zone package.

    • Jeff M says:

      Agree 100%. I haven’t been the least bit impressed by Niklas to be honest. I fully believe that outside of ASJ as a combo TE and Jace Amaro as a “Move” TE (and only if it’s in the mid to late 2nd round for Amaro) the best TE (Ebron will never get close to the Pats so I don’t even include him) the best option for the Pats is CJ Feidorowicz.

      He comes from a system that will be familiar, and was coached by the Pats former TE coach in Ferentz. They’ll get inside info and I think, unless one of the others tumble to the Pats at the right spot, he’s the pick.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      See the recently published article on Bleacher Report entitled “Why Troy Niklas Could Be the Next Rob Gronkowski” for many answers as to what many peaople, myself included, see in Niklas.

  29. Jeff M says:

    Like this draft except for Easley. I like him as a player, but the injury grade (and this is not just a regular injury this is TWO that are potential CAREER ENDING knee injuries for a guy who’s not even hit 25) for me puts him in the late 3rd to early 4th before I even think about touching the guy.
    If someone else takes him before that? Fine…let them have the risk, but I wouldn’t touch that guy with a 10 foot pole. He’s another Ras “IR” Dowling waiting to happen, and we have wasted enough of those picks…(Dowling, Wheatley, Prior and now even Gronk).
    Belichick has always said Availability is more important than Ability, and that end the Easley conversation because this dude will never be available.
    Swap that pick with Stephon Tuitt, and I’d say you’ve got a great draft right there. Although I still believe that Deone Buchannon is in play in the 2nd/3rd round, TJ Jones in the 6th and Aaron Colvin as a store him on PUP then IR CB for next year.
    Chris Watt at OG is another in the mid to late rounds is another OL to watch out for, and Jack Mewhort at OT from Ohio St. for a swing tackle.

  30. Matt says:

    This draft is a train wreck. No way they take an under sized DT with two bum knees as their first pick. Troy Niklas is a nice peice but you can get good TE value later. A running back in the 3rd? Pats have consistently found RBs as UFA. I do however like the (2) 2nd rounders as well as (2) 3rd rounders. They’ll get quality depth players and possible a starter out of those 4 picks. Id like to see them go with the better available DE or OLB with their first 2nd because that is where depth/starting capability is needed.

  31. Trev says:

    Like this draft a lot except for the first pick. Are you really sold on the idea of drafting a guy in the mid second (our first pick) who had blown out both knees? Do you really believe he won’t get hurt again soon?

  32. Kyle says:

    I feel like the need at DT is being overstated. The Patriots generally carry only 4 true DTs on the roster. Currently, they have Wilfork, Kelly, Siliga, Armstead, Vellano and Jones. Obviously, Kelly and Wilfork are near locks because they restructured. Siliga played well at the end of last year, so he’ll almost certainly stick. They were very high on Armstead before his mystery infection, and supposedly like Jones, too ( I don’t, though). They also seem to like Vellano in a rotational role. Even if they step up and carry an extra guy or two, they already seem to have a solid rotation with guys both young and old, run stuffers and pass rushing types.

    I like Easley, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think the team should use its first pick (wherever that may be) on a position they have a lot of depth at. DT will be a competitive position in training camp as it is given the amount of guys already there.

    • munchkin says:

      I am not so sure that the DT need is overstated. I like keeping Wilfork in the fold but he is coming back from an Achilles injury. If he has issues holding up against double teams his effectiveness will be nil. I feel better about Kelly but his age is concerning. The other three guys; Saliga, Vellano and Jones are rotational players. Who knows what Armstead can do in the NFL. I don’t think he is bank.
      I would love to see an interior disruptive force drafted. That would go a long way in helping the outside rushers.

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        If he’s getting double teamed he is already effective.

        • Pete H. says:

          Not necessarily. If they’re running at him, and he can hold his ground against a double team, then the running play will be unlikely to succeed because the running back has nowhere to go, but if he is pushed back and wiped out, then there is lots of space right in the center of the D to make the run and at least pick up a few yards. Could be the difference between a no gain or 1-2 yard run (success for D) and a 5-6 yard run (failure for D).

  33. Marc says:

    What happend to the extra 6th they picked up with the trade?? I like the mock though. Here is mine.

    TRADE:Round-1-Pick#29-Minnesota Vikings-Round-2-Pick#40,Round-3-Pick#96,Round-6-Pick#184

    DRAFT
    ROUND-2-Pick#40:-DaQuan Jones-Defensive Tackle-Penn State
    ROUND-2-Pick#62:-DeMarcus Lawrence-Defensive End-Bosie State
    ROUND-3-Pick#93:-CJ Fiedorowicz-Tight End-Iowa
    ROUND-3-Pick#96:-Brandon Coleman-Wide Receiver-Rutgers
    ROUND-4-Pick#130:-Adrian Hubbard-Linebacker-Alabama
    ROUND-4-Pick#140:-Ahmad Dixon-Safety-Baylor
    ROUND-6-Pick#184:-David Fluellen-Running Back-Toledo
    ROUND-6-Pick#198:-Shamar Stephen-Defensive Lineman-UCONN
    ROUND-6-Pick#206:-Johnathan Harrison-Center-Florida
    ROUND-7-Pick#244:-John Brown-Wide Receiver-Pittsburgh State

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      I like the Brandon Coleman pick, but think he’ll be there in the fourth.

    • Bill Vermont says:

      I like that draft a lot. Here’s my shot:

      2- #40 Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Georgia Tech
      2- #62 Brandon Thomas OG Clemson
      3- #93 CJ Fiedorowicz TE Iowa
      3- #96 Caraun Reid DT Princeton
      4- #130 Dion Bailey SS USC
      4- #140 Terrence West RB Towson
      6- #184 Tyler Lawson C Utah State
      6- #198 Quincy Enunwa WR Nebraska
      6- #206 Larry Webster DE Bloomsburg
      7- #244 Bennett Jackson CB ND

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      Very good draft. If that happens for Pats would be quite happy.

  34. Jay F. says:

    I really think the Patriots are going to add another Safety high in the draft. Deonne Buchanan seems like a perfect fit to me. 3 year captain, top of his position at all the combine workouts.

  35. Jim R says:

    I like this one, Red zone nightmare Gronk 6′ 7″ Niklas 6’6″ Coleman 6’6″ Dobson 6″ 3″ there is a mismatch somewhere in there.

    • Matt says:

      Why cant the Pats draft a player that can play DE & DT like Tuitt instead of waiting until the 6 th.

      • Matt says:

        Tuitt is an end in even and odd fronts. In even fronts he would be utilized similarly to how Seattle used Red Bryant. I agree with having a defensive lineman who can play DE and DT, but Id rather someone like Hageman(who has said he can play NT as well). Unfortuntaly, this years DT crop is thin. So the value may be in the middle rounds.






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